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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Steve Cohen, Starboard Value LP, Trinity Industries Inc (TRN), Axis Capital Holdings Limited (AXS), I.D. Systems, Inc. (IDSY), and More

Steve Cohen Revamps Point72’s Big Data Group After Early Stumble (Bloomberg)
Steve Cohen is revamping his big data operation again at Point72 Asset Management. The hedge fund named Kirk McKeown to a new position of director of proprietary research to oversee three different groups: Aperio, Data Sourcing and Strategy, and Point of the Spear, according to a person with knowledge of the firm. Point72, which makes long and short equity bets, aims to improve collaboration across the units that deliver trading insights to the firm’s money managers. Point72, which has been raising money from outside investors after a two-year ban, has struggled along with other hedge funds in turning big data into big profits. Cohen’s firm has been pushing to improve collaboration between scientifically minded quants and managers who rely more on experience to read markets.

Starboard Adds Two More Nominees to Newell Board Slate (Reuters)
(Reuters) – Hedge fund Starboard Value LP said on Monday it nominated two additional directors to the board of Newell Brands Inc (NWL.N), taking its total nominees to 12 as the activist investor seeks to replace the board and the chief executive. The nominations come two weeks after Newell named two new independent directors, expanding the board size to 11, in an attempt to rebuff Starboard’s efforts. Starboard, which owns about 4 percent of Newell, has said the company has underperformed peers and mismanaged the integration of Jarden Corp, which it bought in 2016. “We are writing today as our serious concerns have become even more elevated, and even more apparent, following the recent and abrupt resignation of yet another Newell director,” Starboard said in a letter to Newell’s shareholders on Monday.

Clearwater Capital Is Investing More in Indian Distressed Debt (Bloomberg)
Clearwater Capital Partners LLC says it is allocating more money into distressed debt in India as an increasing number of companies are dragged into insolvency proceedings. “We have probably allocated more capital recently in India relative to China,” said Robert Petty, a co-founder at the Hong Kong-based fund specializing in direct lending, distressed and special situation opportunities in Asia. A $2 billion bank fraud at Punjab National Bank and rising bankruptcy cases have rocked the South Asian nation this year, presenting new opportunities for hedge funds focusing on the latest fallout in banking and other key industries. Regulatory pressure for banks to recognize bad loans has also led to a 30 percent jump in non-performing loans, Fitch Ratings said in a Feb. 22 note.

Is Oil Price Volatility A Thing Of The Past? (Forbes)
His announced retirement alluded to the lack of volatility in the oil market as a reason to shut down his hedge fund, but T. Boone Pickens’ announcement should be taken with an Everest-sized grain of salt. Granted, at 89 and with a long and storied career behind him, Mr. Pickens could hardly be faulted for wanting to take a well-deserved retirement. He has made major contributions to corporate governance (for good or ill, depending on your point of view), carried out a number of successful oil and gas trades, and worked tirelessly to promote the use of natural gas as a clean alternative to fuels like diesel. But is oil price volatility gone, or just temporarily dampened.

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